During the New Years celebrations in Japan, the one sport event that excites and brings Japanese people together the most is the marathon! Of all the marathons, the most popular is the Hakone Ekiden, a university relay marathon that is split over two days on January 2nd and 3rd. The teams are split into 10 runners from various universities. The first half of the race starts in Nihonbashi, Tokyo and ends over 100 kilometers away in Hakone, Kanagawa, and the second half reverses the course to bring the runners back to Nihonbashi.
The Nike Shoes That Top Runners are Wearing
The ‘Vaporfly’ brand of Nike running shoes are the talk of Japan’s running circles after this year’s Hakone Ekiden. A university that joined the Hakone marathon wearing this brand of Nike shoes swept their way into the top ranks of the competition! The shockingly pink color Vaporfly shoe has especially caught everyone’s eye. The racers at this marathon were incredible, and a jaw-dropping 85% of them did their best racing while wearing Nike’s ‘Vaporfly Next%’ running shoes.
It goes without saying that all of the runners for the top school at this year’s Hakone race wore these shoes! It was rumored at the press conference that Nike’s shoes would have still been the top story, even if the sponsor had been changed to Adidas! Another crazy fact: The top finishers for nine out of the ten total legs of the relay race also wore these pink Vaporfly shoes!
It is said that the Vaporfly shoes can enable you to run faster due to the flexible, responsive carbon plate inserted in the thickly cushioned sole of the shoes. Some tournaments have even banned these shoes due to the effectiveness of this design. Not only that, but World Athletics, which is the governing body for running technology and races, has just recently banned further developments in shoe technology until they have conducted sufficient research on future steps for shoe regulation. We wonder how this situation will change! One thing is for sure though – this will only make Vaporfly shoes more well-known!!
The Other Top Finisher You Should Notice
Out of the top finishers for each of the ten legs of the relay race, only one did not wear Vaporfly shoes. And yet this racer, Soka University’s Yudai Shimazu, has also become a hot topic! He did it with unique, completely white running shoes! They have become a big story in the media recently. These white shoes are prototypes from Mizuno, and rumor has it that ASICS has also been testing a prototype shoe called ‘Meta Racer’ recently. It seems that Japanese manufacturers have already started their intense new product battle before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics begins!!
Sports competitions have become very popular in Japan this year due to the upcoming Tokyo Olympics, and marathons, running brands and top runners have especially found more fame in recent years! The ‘Vaporfly Next%’ brand shoe from Nike is the current hot commodity that we most recommend you give a look!
Recommended Running Shoes
Records on courses like the Hakone Ekiden have been getting broken recently with seemingly greater speed than ever before as running shoe technology evolves. And as the 2020 Olympics draws nearer demand for better shoes will only continue to grow! If you want to take your running skills to the next level, we recommend that you give a look at the best shoe brands currently available via the link below!